Sunday, November 17, 2019

All bank borrowers must repay, Finance Minister Kamal says

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-11-07 03:27:13 BdST

bdnews24

The government is working to collect dues by any means except sending the bank loan defaulters to jail and the classified debt rescheduling scheme aims to achieve this goal, the finance minister says.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet committee meeting at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Wednesday, AHM Mustafa Kamal said the 2 percent down payment to get the rescheduling facilities under the scheme should not matter to the loan defaulters.

Besides the down payment, a maximum 9 percent interest will be charged on the rescheduled loans and the tenure for the repayment will be 10 years with a grace period of one year.

The High Court on Sunday upheld Bangladesh Bank’s amnesty for the loan defaulters and extended the term of the related circular by 90 days.

“A 2 percent down payment shouldn’t be an issue. They (loan defaulters) will agree with all the conditions, including the 2 percent down payment to commit that they are with us. They will cooperate to fulfil these conditions,” Kamal said.

“We want to do one thing – collecting the money without sending anyone to jail. All of those who have taken money from the banks must repay. We will collect the money by any means. It is the state’s money, the people’s money. But we’ve extended the time a bit.

“We want to make laws favourable to trade. There are many related issues and we want to bring these together to strengthen the banking sector,” he said.

Asked about the High Court judgment, the minister said, “We will implement it when we get it. We shouldn’t talk about it now.”

The minister also said the idea that “good and bad” borrowers were getting mixed up for the scheme was not right.

“It won’t happen. The good borrowers will not need to make additional deposits,” he said.

He also renewed the resolve to make all the banks keep lending rates below 10 percent.

“It is unfortunate that some banks haven’t done it as yet even after the government fulfilled the conditions they had set,” he said.